# What Counts as Mathematics? (Mathematics Education by FitzSimons G. E.

By FitzSimons G. E.

Studying the practices of arithmetic schooling foremost within the Australian vocational schooling and coaching quarter, Fitzsimons (Monash U., Australia) criticizes present political and social buildings that have a tendency to maneuver carrying on with arithmetic schooling in the direction of non-empowering (for the scholars) versions of guide which are more and more technologized. She stories the study at the subject and theorizes on why Australia is practising such academic equipment. eventually she assesses the position that "Critical arithmetic" might play in democratizing arithmetic schooling.

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Additional info for What Counts as Mathematics? (Mathematics Education Library-Vol.28): Technologies of Power in Adult and Vocational Education

Sample text

A fundamental consideration is which knowledge interests are being served. Using a Habermasian framework (Habermas, 1963/1974), it could be argued that many official reports and semi- or fully-funded programmes are serving primarily technical or instrumental, manipulative interests, and practical or hermeneutic, communicative interests. Adults are to develop the instrumental skills, confidence, and competence to function effectively in the workplace, the home, and society — as producers and consumers of commodities and/or information.

Mathematics is, I think, quark-like for most people — difficult to grasp and certainly strange. But we are unlikely to understand how to make it useful until we acknowledge and use its truth, its beauty, and its charm. (p. 136) WHAT COUNTS AS MATHEMATICS?

Importantly it must be remembered that education as means of contributing to social and economic change does not and cannot exist in isolation from political decision-making. Yet it appears to be the case that the discourses concerning Australian school mathematics education (Ellerton & Clements, 1994), as in the VET sector, often hide the underlying complex nexus of political and economic power and resources. ’ Apple argues that this reduction in the complexity of the issues becomes an aspect of cultural reproduction — not as a conspiracy but as “a ‘logical necessity’ for the continued maintenance of an unequal social order” (p.